VP Client & Operations, Kenes Group
Ori Lahav joined Kenes in 2013 as AVP Marketing, bringing more than 15 years of marketing experience to the management team. Ori’s expertise includes implementing marketing strategies, ATL/BTL and leading digital campaigns in online/social media channels. He began his career in the communications industry, where he held marketing positions at Internet, voice and mobile telecom providers. This was followed by a senior role in the automotive sector with a start-up that raised US$ 900M to manufacture electric cars. After 4 years in the company, Ori moved to managing the Client Accounts & Operations unit. In the beginning of 2017, Ori also became an IAPCO Council Member (IAPCO – the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers). Ori holds a BA in Statistics from the University of Haifa and an MBA from the University of Derby, UK.
President, International Conference Services Ltd
IAPCO Immediate Past President
With its Headquarters in Vancouver, Canada and branch offices in Toronto, Denver, London, Vienna, Barcelona, Singapore and Tokyo, the company manages conferences around the globe – in 38 countries on 6 continents thus far. Mathias is President of IAPCO and as such leads the organisation’s expansion and outreach programme. He is a respected industry expert and has been invited to speak at numerous international and national conferences around the globe. Further he also serves on a number of Advisory Boards and consults international scientific and medical associations on their global strategy.
Managing Director, BestCities Global Alliance
Employed by GainingEdge, Lesley took up the post of Managing Director for the BestCities Global Alliance account in January 2020, having worked as Director, Market Development since July 2017. Before joining GainingEdge and BestCities Lesley was Head of Business Tourism for Marketing Edinburgh where her key focus has been sourcing and bidding for international and national conferences and events for the city. She led the development of the Convention Bureau - the result of which saw Edinburgh record its highest economic impact of £94.3M in 2015-16 attracting 206 future conferences to the city.
Lesley participates fully in the wider tourism arena, is a past Chair of ICCA UK and Ireland Chapter and a huge advocate for legacy and the beyond tourism benefits generated by business events.
Previous experience includes business development for international hotel chains and prestigious caterers and 8 years as Director of Sales at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) playing a key role in taking EICC into operational profit in 2003 through the development of key international and national association and corporate business.
Global Executive Vice President Corporate Division, MCI Group
Oscar Cerezales, born in Barcelona and based in Singapore, has more than 25 years of experience in this industry. Oscar currently works at MCI Group as Global Executive Vice President.
MCI Group is dedicated to empower corporations, associations and governments to activate their employees, channel partners, customers and members. Creating face-to-face, hybrid and digital experiences. With 61 offices, different brands (Dorier being one of them) in 31 countries and 2,500 talents, MCI organizes more than 7,000 events per year.
Also, Oscar is chair of the Professional Convention Management Association Advisory Board, Board member of Saceos, founder of MPI Chapters (Meetings Professional International), ex Latam Board member at SITE.
Oscar has been a professor at universities in Barcelona, London, and Milan. In addition to collaborating with various industry publications and curates several industry conferences.
Global Learning and Development Director, MCI Group
With a degree in Business, an Executive Certificate in Global Management from INSEAD Business School and a recognised Fellowship awarded by the Learning and Performance Institute for contributions to the Learning Profession, Avinash started his MCI career in 1998 as Talent and Development Director for MCI Brussels. In 2008, as MCI Group’s Global Learning and Development Director, he established MCI Institute, MCI’s in-house global knowledge and learning centre of excellence offering a portfolio of learning programmes, virtual and face to face to its worldwide talent base.
More recently, Avinash has spearheaded the digital transformation of MCI’s learning strategy by integrating Artificial Intelligence and pioneering digital solutions to create a personalised Learner Experience (LX) centred ecosystem within the organisation. His depth of expertise in ‘Andragogy’ (Adult Learning) over the past decade combined with a passion for the neuroscience of learning has recently played a pivotal role in the evolution of designing and deploying effective online/digital programmes and event solutions.
Beyond strategy, Avinash is an acclaimed speaker, facilitator and moderator on a topics covering Talent Development, Future of Work, Workforce and Workplace Learning, Leadership Effectiveness, Cross-Cultural Awareness and Building High Performance Organisations. In his 25+ year career, he has designed and delivered over 300 live online and face to face sessions, workshops and keynotes to over 15,000 people on 5 continents in 32 countries. Avinash is also a licensed practitioner with the Culture-Active System, Insights™ Personal, Team and Leadership Effectiveness Model and a Certified Virtual Facilitator recognised by the International Institute for Facilitation.
As a self-confessed ‘global nomad,’ he was born in Uganda, Africa and has since lived in multiple locations in the United States, Europe and currently resides in Hong Kong.
CEO of SingularityU Greece Summit, Global Executive Director at P&G Alumni Network and Founder of TEDxAcademy
Ms Siropoulou has Business Experience in Business Development, Marketing Strategy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Niki works with companies around the world such as Procter & Gamble, Estee Lauder, Philips, Carlsberg, The Coca-Cola Company and a great variety of Start-Ups.
Ms Siropoulou has been awarded with the “Breakthrough Product of the Year Award” in the USA for innovative product development for Estee Lauder, USA.
In 2010, 2011 and 2012 has been recognised with the “best breed branding” distinction from TED for TEDxAcademy branding and developed the TEDx Brand Manual presented at TED.
Ms. Siropoulou has Executive Education from Harvard Business School on Innovation and New Business Ventures, from MIT on Leading Product Development and Kellogg on Digital Strategy. She holds an MBA in Marketing Strategy from University of Texas at Austin.
Vice president, AIM Group International
Patrizia has been the Managing Director of the Congress Division at AIM Group International for more 15 years and is currently Vice-President of AIM Group International.
As active IAPCO (International Association of Professional Congress Organisers) Member, she has been actively involved in the evolution of the organisation and the development of the IAPCO Education seminars. She is speaker at major international Meeting Industry events and she teaches tourism management and marketing at several University Master’s Programmes (Rome, Milan, Glion).
She also serves as co-Chair of INCON (Global Partnership also in Conferences and Events).
The medical-scientific world has always been the focal point of Patrizia, nevertheless the Group diversification into other market segments has reached new heights. The full management of congresses, meetings and events on behalf of associations, corporations and institutions is the Group’s core business which employs more than 350 permanent staff in 17 cities worldwide.
Moreover, as a volunteer leader Patrizia is Secretary General of FIMAC, the International Foundation Doctors for Central Africa, which is a non-profit organization that aims to improve the health conditions of people in Central Africa through cooperative humanitarian projects.
Owner and Managing Director, African Agenda
Keith has more than 16 years of professional conference and destination management experience. As the founder of African Agenda, a leading international PCO, based in Cape Town, Keith has been at the forefront of the evolution of professional conference management in South Africa, and more broadly, the African continent. He is an active participant in the local and international conference industry and serves on the Council of the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO). His financial acumen and project management expertise ensure efficient conference budgeting and financial control, while his partnership approach ensures strong supplier and excellent client relationships; all with the goal of optimal outcomes for all involved.
Quality Manager, Interplan
Christine Hense has more than 20 years experience in the meeting industry with INTERPLAN Congress, Meetings & Event Management AG. She finished her Hotel Managing Diploma in Austria and worked in the hotel business in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Her career in professional congress management started 1998 as an assistant project manager. She was promoted to project manager in 1999 and had full responsibility and accountability for more than 50 national and international congresses over the years.
She served Interplan’s core clients, who appreciated her calm and purposeful way in managing all aspects of their congresses as well as being innovative and target orientated. In 2006 Christine, stepped into the role of the Quality manager and shaped new structures and processes in the strong growing period of the company to approx. 100 employees in 3 branch offices. In 2014 Christine joined Interplan’s Management team. She served and supported the successful company strategy by establishing a staff development and education program, ongoing change management and implementation of appropriate structures up to today’s world of virtual and hybrid congresses. Christine is known as a creative and hands-on person that encourages others to go further than one thinks one can.
She is a proud mum of 2 boys and holds a diploma in Tourism Economy from the University of Innsbruck as well as master certificates of NLP and Systemic Leadership.
Director Business Development and Key Accounts, Congrex
Sabine Adam works for Congrex Switzerland as Director of Business Development and Key Accounts. After successfully finishing her Hotel Management Diploma she worked in the Hotel Business in the UK and Switzerland and started her career in the meeting industry 30 years ago at AKM Congress Service in Basel. Sabine started in the registration department, where she was promoted to head of department very shortly after beginning. She then also took over the scientific programme department and ran this as well for a few years. In addition, she stepped into the association management world. During this time she also had two children.
In 2005 she moved to the meeting planning department and also worked closely with industry liaison. 2008 she was promoted to Account Manager and later to Account Director. In 2014 she became a partner of Congrex Switzerland and since then is responsible for business development and key accounts.
CEO, Conference Partners International
Nicola McGrane, CEO of Conference Partners International and Event Partners Ireland, established the company in 1998. A passionate advocate for developing the Business of Events industry in Ireland, the UK and abroad, Nicola is accredited with 5 years’ Board involvement with IAPCO (The International Association of Professional Conference Organisers) and currently leads the IAPCO European EDGE educational programme, as well as Treasurer and founding member of AIPCO (The Association of Irish Professional Conference Organisers). Driven by passion and enthusiasm, the key values which underpin Nicola’s approach are quality, trust and integrity. She takes a ‘hands on’ approach to her business and is regarded as a leading lateral thinker with an innovative approach to problem solving and delivery. Renowned for her ability to identify opportunities, her creative thinking and strategic advice has been sought at the highest level by numerous corporations, government and industry bodies.
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